China says security situation in Pakistan 'severe' after suicide blast in Balochistan's Gwadar
The suicide blast targeting a motorcade of Chinese engineers at the Gwadar East Bay Expressway project was claimed by Balochistan Liberation Army, a separatist militant organisation.
The Chinese embassy in Pakistan has confirmed that a Chinese national was injured in the suicide attack reported in the port of Gwadar in Balochistan province on Friday evening. The suicide blast targeting a motorcade of Chinese engineers at the Gwadar East Bay Expressway project was claimed by Balochistan Liberation Army, a separatist militant organisation. Two local children were killed in the attack while several others got injured.
"The Chinese Embassy in Pakistan strongly condemns this act of terrorism, extends its sincere sympathies to the injured of both countries, and expresses its deep condolences to the innocent victims in Pakistan," the embassy said in a statement.
The blast occurred near the construction site of a road that is part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), under its wider Belt and Road initiative.
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The embassy noted that the security situation in Pakistan has been “severe” in recent times. Reminding several terrorist attacks and casualties of several Chinese citizens, the embassy urged the expatriates to be “vigilant, strengthen safety precautions, reduce unnecessary outings, and take effective security protections.” It also demanded Pakistan conduct a thorough investigation into the attack and punish the perpetrators.
“At the same time, relevant departments at all levels in Pakistan must take practical and effective measures to accelerate to implement strengthened whole-process security measures and upgraded security cooperation mechanism to ensure that similar incidents will not happen again,” the statement read.
In July, 13 people including nine Chinese nationals were killed in an attack in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. Pakistan had initially claimed that the incident was caused by a mechanical failure leading to a gas leak. Pakistan's foreign minister later blamed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan for the attacks, but the group denied involvement, reported Reuters.